25 years ago Hongkong (August 26): After 43 years in the rickshaw trade, Mr Chan Lai has almost reached the end of the road, literally. Today, Mr Chan Lai, 60, is the only person in Hongkong who still makes and repairs rickshaws, which, once a popular means of transport, are fast disappearing from Hongkong's streets. Sitting in his workshop on the ground floor of a pre-war building in Western District, Mr Chan Lai recalled the days when making rickshaws was a lucrative trade. 'Making rickshaws used to be a prestigious profession in the 30s,' he said. 'But it is now a very humiliating job.' At the peak of the trade, Mr Chan earned more than $200 a month. It was good money 40 years ago. Now he earns only about $5 a day repairing rickshaws that are still in use. 'I am living at subsistence level,' he said. 'Five dollars hardly covers my daily expenses.' Born in Hongkong, Mr Chan joined the trade as an apprentice when he was 17. His father was also a rickshaw maker. At that time there were over 1,000 rickshaws in the Colony, and about 3,000 pullers. Their number started declining after public buses were introduced. The Transport Department stopped issuing new rickshaw licences in 1949. The policy is to renew existing licences until the rickshaw pullers abandon their trade. There are only 20 rickshaws on the road now.